Southwest Oklahoma Area Health Education Center

Strengthening the healthcare workforce through training, recruiting, and retaining healthcare professionals
Female medical worker looking at microscope

The AHEC Initiative

Make a difference in your community with a rewarding healthcare career track filled with opportunities to increase access to primary care in underserved communities.

Enrollment opens in May 2024. Learn more about the AHEC initiative.

The AHEC Scholars Program

AHEC Scholars is a nationally recognized certificate program that can set you apart.

Are you a student of a healthcare profession eager to gain additional experience that can set you apart from your peers?

Join the AHEC Scholars program to participate in clinical, didactic, and community-based activities and practice interprofessional collaboration. Be a part of a well-prepared, diverse, and culturally competent primary care workforce to improve patient outcomes.




Be a part of the movement to enhance diversity and distribution of health professions students and practitioners through targeted training in underserved and rural communities.

Enrollment opens May 2024.

Why Become A Scholar?

  • The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary team-based approach to address health disparities in your communities
  • Enhance healthcare knowledge in clinical and community settings
  • Participate in enhanced training experiences related to health care delivery impacting underserved communities
  • Some of your current clinical coursework may qualify for AHEC Scholars credit
    AHEC Scholars curriculum can be completed at no cost and complements your existing coursework
  • Train on topics of leadership, communication, and critical thinking
  • Improved employability skills
  • Resume review
    • Resume building opportunities
    • Job interview preparation
    • Introduction to area health organizations
    • Receive an official AHEC Scholars certificate and letter of completion

Am I eligible to participate?

The AHEC Scholars program is open to individuals studying in the healthcare professional fields in clinical and non-clinical roles. The program has a special interest in students from underserved, under-represented populations, and/or disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Current interest in rural or underserved healthcare
  • Be currently enrolled in a college-level health professions education training program in Oklahoma
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA in a college-level health education program
  • Be 2 years from program or degree completion

What are the commitments?

The program duration is two years and each year includes the following, for a total of 160 hours:

  • Must attend the online orientation
  • 40 hours annually of community-based, experiential, or clinical training in rural and/or underserved area
  • 40 hours annually of didactic education (focused on six Core Topic Areas)
  • Core Topic Areas
    • Interprofessional Education
    • Behavioral Health Integration
    • Social Determinants of Health
    • Cultural Competency
    • Practice Transformation
    • Current and Emerging Health Issues: The Opioid Crisis
  • Complete a follow-up evaluation one (1) year after exiting the program

SW-AHEC Student to Health Care Professional Pipeline

The Southwest Oklahoma AHEC is committed to recruiting students into health career pathways and supporting them on their education journey.

Our pipeline focuses on opening the door for Oklahomans to pursue a wide range of health careers. Through collaboration with local high schools, SW-AHEC guides interested students toward available scholarships and exposes them to the healthcare field with job-shadowing experience. We also travel to schools throughout our region to provide education on healthcare careers and health topics.

Stay up to date with AHEC events by following the SW-AHEC Facebook page!